I am a recent graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation's first public university. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, with minors in History and Creative Writing. Throughout my academic career, many of my teachers and professors noted my propensity to raise the discourse of classroom discussion and ask important questions. Thus far, I have worked with students of ages ranging from eight to fifteen as a tutor, mentor, and camp counselor. I tutor students of a broad range of academic levels in diverse subjects areas, including but not limited to: all mathematics up to and including high school geometry; all elementary, middle, and high school social sciences and history, including AP European History, AP US History, and AP US Government and Politics; reading comprehension and writing of all levels, as well as college admissions essay editing; test preparation for all three sections of the SAT; study skills and organization; public speaking; and, of course, Religious Studies (my college major). I have a particular passion for helping middle school and high school students improve their writing and reading comprehension skills; opening students' eyes to the power and importance of the written word, I believe, is a pursuit with a lifetime of rewards. In my spare time, I enjoy reading fiction and discussing current events and film.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Bachelors, Religious Studies
SAT Composite: 2250
SAT Math: 720
SAT Verbal: 730
SAT Writing: 800
Fiction, film, current events, theater
High School English
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I work to help students grasp not just the necessary knowledge, but also the academic skillsets that will prove critical throughout their academic careers, allowing them to respond to new challenges with confidence. I believe it is important to guide students to their own "a-ha" moments; these moments lend the self-assurance and energy students need to move forward.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session with a student, I might start by asking the student to tell me in their own words what material inspires confidence and what inspires uncertainty. Then, I might ask them how they have been doing with both their homework and their in-class quizzes and tests. I might then ask to go over portions of the test for which they earned full points, and others for which they missed points. I would ask them questions as to how they approached and then responded to each question. From there, I would ask questions that would help the student think about how they would handle troubling questions differently. If any gaps in knowledge were to present themselves, I would make sure to then work on a practice exercise and/or assign reading that would build their understanding, making sure to explain any difficult concepts in easy-to-understand language. Especially during a first session, I would be trying to get a sense of the student's particular learning style. As always, I would work to match the content of our time together with my assessment of the student's strengths and weaknesses. I would make sure to reiterate that students should feel comfortable asking questions of me at any time. By the end of the session, I would make sure to outline goals the student should work toward in time for our next session.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I think it is important to support students in their own learning process, rather than to simply tell them the correct answer or assign them material to memorize. If a student is struggling, I work to assure him or her that what they are facing is doable, and then I ask questions of them to prompt them to think about how to respond to their assignment step by step. While making sure that they have a clear understanding, I work to guide them to their own moments of realization, which gives them the confidence and skills to respond to new challenges.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would make sure to always be attuned to what is frustrating him or her, and I would work to give the student the tools to overcome any specific challenges. I would keep the student on task and on track, giving them both long-term and short-term goals that they would be able to achieve.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would start by going over any skills or concepts that underlie the more difficult concept. That way, I would ensure that the student has a grasp of the fundamental material, and from there, I might prompt them with questions to get them thinking about how to move from the simpler concept to the more difficult concept. That way, they are themselves making the right connections.